A Sister's Delicate Way
Here’s a practical example of how men and women might handle situations differently. Let’s say there are several hundred people together or several dozen or just several families. And one of the young brothers says, “Well, I think this and I think that and I was reading my Bible and it means this.”
Before I go on, let me give you an example about a man who was speaking at a “street evangelism” seminar once. All of these street preachers came from different parts of the country to hear him, and this particular man is a pretty famous street preacher in America. He gave an entire sermon on Acts 1 where it begins “In the former treatise, oh Theophilus…” The King James translation uses the word “the former treatise.” Other translations say “in my previous letter” or “in my previous book.”
This man preached a sermon to a big, crowded, conference-like room of street preachers about the “old treaty” and the “new treaty.” He absolutely, totally, butchered the verse! He had no idea what he was talking about. He spent an hour telling us all about it, but he had no idea what he was talking about! He misunderstood the word TREATISE to mean TREATIES—like a peace treaty. Or maybe he didn’t even know how to spell the word. They’re even spelled differently. This man is a 50-year-old “pillar” in the world-renowned street evangelism circles. He is a “preacher” known for walking around and carrying a cross all over the world, but he butchered the scripture and totally gave the wrong meaning of it for an hour!
So, let’s say a young brother in our midst, a new Christian, does something as foolish as what that “street preacher” did. Maybe a young brother, a new Christian, might do something similar. I doubt it :). But let’s just say he did, as an example. Well, another brother would interrupt him and say, “Hold on, John. That word you are using, it’s not the word you think it is. But we can go ahead and talk about treaties anyway. We can talk about covenants and pacts and agreements between God and man, because that’s a Biblical idea. But don’t refer to that verse, because it doesn’t talk about treaties.”
And he says, “Oh, man… sorry! Ok, let’s just talk about covenants then, and I don’t have to use this verse because it doesn’t talk about covenants. So we’ll talk about it from another perspective.” And he can just go on. So in this case, a brother would intervene and say, “Excuse me, John. That word doesn’t mean what you’re saying it means.”
Let’s say a sister was the first one to notice the error. She would not approach the problem in the same way. In a gathering of believers, or even if it was her son saying these things in her household, she would not approach the problem in the same way. After her son becomes a Christian, she would learn that she’s not going to be pushy and bossy. This is now her brother. She’s not going to be pushy and bossy in the same way that maybe she would have been when he was four or six years old. She’s still his mother, but she respects that the Ancient of Days now lives inside of this young man. So she’s going to view him a little bit differently and respond to him a little bit differently.
Let’s say it’s just an older sister in the church that hears him say “treatise,” and realizes he is misusing it. She isn’t going to say, “John, by the way, that’s not what that word means!” She’s going to say, “Would it be okay if I mention a possibility here? Sorry to interrupt, John, but would it be okay if I mention a possibility? Maybe you other brothers might have some thoughts about this and I could be wrong about it. I don’t want to be out of line here, but I think that word is spelled differently than “treaties”… “Treatise” has a different meaning. I don’t want to interrupt your flow of thought and I hope you’ll carry on. However, this word is spelled differently. So maybe it doesn’t mean that? Just think about it.”
She’s going to be much more delicate and wise and careful about how she brings it up rather than a brother who could be a little more carefree in it. Not that he would be domineering or insulting either. But he could say, “John, I know you mean well, but that’s not the same word. So let’s keep talking about it, but I don’t want to be distracted by the fact that you’re misspelling and misusing this word in Acts 1 all the way through everything you say. It would be distracting to listen to you do this for the next hour. Let’s talk about covenants, pacts, agreements and treaties, without using this verse to do so. And carry on, John!” A sister is not going to say it that same way even if she is three times John’s age. She’s going to be much more wise and delicate.
So if she is talking a little and he does not understand, would she just back away?
She can’t back away! She might whisper to her husband or a male that’s close by. That might even be another way to handle the situation altogether. “I think he’s misspelling that word. Maybe you’d want to do something about that before he embarrasses himself too much.” He doesn’t want to have a lifetime memory of how he made a fool of himself for an hour or fifteen minutes or however long we talk.
So to her husband or to an older brother nearby her in this packed room full of people sitting in a circle, she could whisper, “Would you want to mention this to him? I think he has misapplied that word.” So that may be another way a woman would do it. But what she is not going to do is grab the microphone (which we need because there are so many of us, so there are wireless microphones in different parts of the room).
And with the technology you can move the microphone around?
Yes. So she’s not going to grab that microphone and make a big issue of it. She’s going to carry herself differently because she’s a female.The gift is still there, and her insight might be far superior. But she’s going to use that insight with wisdom in a way that God applauds. She doesn’t bury it. She doesn’t say, “Oh I’m a woman. I can’t say anything. I’m a woman so I have to just be quiet.” No, she’s a co-heir; an equal heir. But she just has a different role. The Chief Financial Officer in a company has a very different role than the Chief Executive Officer in a company. That doesn’t make one a better person than the other. But they’re going to handle what they handle differently. And that’s the male/female thing in the New Testament.